Rolen, who leads the majors with 53 RBIs, left Tuesday’s 8-1 win over the Pirates after he was hit in the helmet with a pitch by Ryan Vogelsong in the first inning.
“I’ve never been hit that hard,” he said. “At that time of the day, it’s hard to see the ball. I never saw it. I had no chance to even soften the blow.”
Rolen remained in the game and scored in the Cardinals’ three-run first, but he did not take the field in the bottom half. He was taken out for precautionary reasons and will be reevaluated Wednesday.
Asked if he had a headache, Rolen said, “Yeah. When you get hit with a 95-mph fastball in the head, a headache isn’t out of the question.”
If Rolen is unable to play, the Cardinals will hope for another strong offensive performance from first baseman Albert Pujols.
Pujols went 5-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs Tuesday. It was his second career five-hit game, both coming at PNC Park, where he is hitting .412 (47-for-114) with 12 home runs and 37 RBIs since the park opened in 2001, his rookie season.
“I don’t think about the park,” said Pujols, who also had five hits at Pittsburgh on May 23, 2003. “It doesn’t matter where it happens. Wherever we play, I try to do my best and help our team win.”
Pujols is batting .524 in his past 11 games, with seven home runs and 14 RBIs.
“He hits every place against everybody,” said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, whose team is 4-1 on its seven-game road trip and leads the NL with 17 road victories.
The Pirates dropped their third in a row after winning six of eight.